Managing Stress: Top Tips from UGP’s HR Manager, Chloe Hollins

managing stress

April marks the start of Stress Awareness Month 2022 and it’s a great opportunity to take a moment to think about our wellbeing and managing stress, both at home and in the workplace.

At UGP we want to help our people and other stakeholders manage their worries, stresses and pressures so we’ve developed a few top tips that we think will help:

  • Share how you’re feeling. It can make a huge difference sharing how you’re feeling with friends and colleagues. By sharing you could get some great advice or find you can support other colleagues who need help.
  • Practice Mindfulness. Mindfulness can come in all forms, whether that be taking a walk, breathing techniques, or being aware of your surroundings. Taking time to be mindful is one of the first steps to reducing your own stress.
  • Keep Moving. Yoga, walking, or heading to the gym are all great ways to keep active. Keeping active provides great stress-busting benefits.
  • Get a good night’s sleep. Waking up completely recharged and ready to go will set your day up with a positive mindset.
  • Keep a Balanced Diet - Food is our energy source and provides us with the nutrients we need to grow, ensuring we don’t skip a meal, stay hydrated and eat our 5-a-day will decrease our stress levels.
  • Take a break. Trying to do or take on too much can increase the negative impacts stress has on our mind and bodies. Taking a break and a step back will help us to manage our time better, with less stressors.

If you want to learn more about different ways to manage your stress both in the work place or at home, check out who have great top tips on how to do so!

Having recently started a new role in HR at United Gas & Power, I understand that I play a vital role in terms of our employees’ health and wellbeing. We acknowledge different workplace stressors; we recognise the signs and we understand that as a business, we need to put measures in place for our people so that as an organisation, we do all we can to reduce the damaging effects of stress. At UGP these measures come in the form of;

  • Gym Memberships - We know how a little bit of movement can be a great way of releasing some built-up stress that people have. Exercise is excellent for our well-being and thanks to UGP our people can visit the gym on a lunchtime, with extended lunch hours to enable them to get there and back still have time for a sandwich!
  • Supportive Line Managers - It’s important to let people know when you’re feeling stressed, so that we can ensure as an organisation we’re supporting you. Having approachable line managers who care is the only way people would feel comfortable doing so. That’s why our Line Managers meet frequently to communicate new ideas, approaches, and different ways of thinking. Sharing ideas and different techniques to management empowers our line managers to be reassuring, encouraging, and understanding with any issue their teams may have.
  • Flexible Working Policy - We understand how some stressors can be due to balancing work and home commitments, so having a Flexible Working Policy in place, which is accessible to every employee and gives everyone an opportunity to request a working change, allows our people to comfortably manage both.
  • Company Socials - At UGP we notice how taking a break from work and catching up with colleagues is the often the best way to relax. That’s why team socials, company summer BBQs and afternoons away from the office are a way for UGP not only to say thank you to employees but also ensure they’re taking the breaks they need.
  • Internal Communications - Staying up to date with projects, industry updates and organisational changes is imperative (especially when working from home) when it comes to reducing stress in the workplace. Knowing what’s happening and being informed allows our people not to worry and to be excited about the future. Therefore, all our communications come directly from the Senior Management Team, nothing is diluted in passing on the message and we all hear the same updates at the same time on a regular basis.
  • Cashback Health Scheme - Acknowledging that most of UGP’s employees’ stressors won’t come from work but seeing that we can still help is one of the most important things an employer can recognise. Our partnership with Simply Health allows our people access to 24-hour advice and counselling helplines, where they can receive guidance from professionals on financial, legal, medical and relationship matters along with 6 free counselling sessions, access to GPs and much more. The cashback scheme ensures this comes at no cost to UGP employees when accessing and claiming these things for themselves.

This month’s Stress Awareness theme is Community where have chosen the theme because “the pandemic has had a hugely detrimental effect on the nation’s mental health and sense of community.” After the turbulent couple of years our industry has felt, community support and spirit has never been so important, so we wanted to offer some messages to our energy community.

To all the suppliers, shippers, and brokers who have felt the same pressures over the past couple of years, who are uncertain on what advice to offer or who are in need of a little break we’re here to support you, and together we can make sure we help one another through another year.

To our customers, we know how challenging a time it may be right now. The news you see about the energy industry can be unsettling and all the changes to prices can be confusing but we’re here to help and we want to offer guidance and advice. Just give our 5-star customer service team and Account Managers a call, who want to put your needs first and give you the knowledge you need during this time. See how we can support you and what we have to offer!

To our employees, for UGP the rest of Stress Awareness Month is for reflecting, improving on what we already have and continuing to put you at the front of everything we do. Stepping into the HR role marks the perfect opportunity for me to review how we currently approach stress in the workplace, and I look forward to researching what we can offer and listening to what you want.

In listening to our community, adapting to people’s needs, and continuing to change for the better we can ensure we have a positive impact on our people, customers, and community.